Civic Trust News 2017
2016-2017 A Year To Remember
It has been a year of much activity behind the scenes with one major backward step for the village and our Neighbourhood Plan and one major step forward regarding Brook Hollows, more about both later. The Civic Trust is changing, some changes as a result of the unstoppable influence of time and some as a result of new ways and technology. We can only hope that the changes improve our service to our members and the village and add to our undoubted community spirit.
Our programme began in April with a talk by one of our regular visitors, Janet Spavold, entitled Necessary Addictions, and in May Steve Booth bought the history of the Fauld Explosion back to life. This talk had been eagerly awaited following last year’s last minute cancellation due to JCB unloading a number of machines on the A50 roundabout at Uttoxeter, and it did not disappoint.
Terry Garner regaled us with “Tales of Old Burton” in September followed by memories of numerous Characters from the Classroom as recalled by ex-teacher John Redfern in October.
November saw us going down an abandoned lead mine in The Via Gella to see amazing photographs of the wild life to be found in this unique environment during a year. David Attenborough eat your heart out.
January saw our annual talk by Richard Stone, who cleared up the mystery of the body in the Leicester car park and the princess in the Tower. Was Richard 111 really that misunderstood.
Our February talk led us through Calke Abbey, its history and how it came to be one of The National Trust’s jewels, all ably narrated by Dot Morson.
Our plant swap was held on the 14th May and raised £188.65 for St Mary’s, and our walk and talk, on 15th June was a local affair with a walk round Rolleston led by Janet Spavold followed by a buffet in Rolleston Club.
Saturday June 25th saw Rolleston at the forefront of history as our Summer Event at John of Rolleston School was a talk by Andrew Griffiths about his life as our MP, followed by supper.
How were we to know when we arranged the event that it would fall the day after the result of the EU referendum? What timing, and what an interesting evening it gave all those who were lucky enough to be there.
This year our annual mulled wine event was held at Ealand Street in January.
Spread Eagle Island and Burnside Troughs
We continue to assist The Parish Council in maintenance work on the Island and on Burnside with the help of Janet Sanderson and her small band of helpers. They really do put in a lot of work, many thanks to them all.
This has proved the bright spot of our year as, after a lot of work by Andy Mason of ESBC, our Mayor, Beryl Toon, the Parish Council and local people, we have managed to secure lottery funding to improve the facilities at Brook Hollows.
This is only the start of the works as much is still to be done, but a project manager is to be appointed by The Trent Valley Living Landscape Partnership to develop the whole project which covers the Trent and Dove area, but Brook Hollows has been adopted as part of that project. We will have to raise funds locally as is the case with all Lottery Funded Projects, but ESBC have already ring-fenced a five figure sum for the project, and following our successful Summer Event The Civic Trust have allocated £1000 for the works.
Following the “bombshell” news last year that Tom Martin and Clare Norman were to step down from the Rollestonian at the end of 2016 we have spent a busy year looking for replacements in what we thought would be an impossible task, but fortune has smiled upon us.
Lesley Bayston has taken over the task of publishing our magazine and Anne Overton has taken the burden of enlisting advertisers to pay its way.
They managed to produce their first issue with assistance from Tom and we look forward to providing the village with its usual quarterly copy of “The Rollestonian” in the years to come.
Many thanks to Tom and Clare for their hard work over the years and welcome to Lesley and Anne with best wishes for the future.
Village Tree Survey
Over the year Phil Irwin, with the assistance of willing volunteers, has completed a survey of Rolleston’s trees, and in the process has produced what we hope will be a useful and fascinating document for use in protecting and developing our tree stock throughout the village.
This project is still ongoing but we are now in active discussion with the Parish Council regarding the creation of a tree nursery.
In November 2016 The Secretary of State finally issued his decision regarding the College Playing Fields Development, and all the village’s fears over the years came home to roost. I do not intend to comment at length here, I did that in the Spring Issue, but this is the final nail in the coffin of our Neighbourhood plan produced after much consultation throughout the village in May 2013. Work must now start afresh to ensure the village does have the protection of a Neighbourhood Plan, which has clearly been denied to us in the past.
The other major development to affect the village appears to be in Craythorne Lane where a development, for originally three executive properties, has been altered into a development of thirty plus elderly person’s bungalows with warden accommodation. We must question what protection we have against planning applications despite Government Legislation assuring us we do have a say.
Committee and Membership
Our membership is growing for the first time in quite a few years. This is really good news, and I hope I can say it is down to the hard work of The Committee and the service we provide,
If you wish to join us in 2017 come to our regular meetings at Rolleston Cricket Club on the third Wednesday of the month.
Peter Barnett, Chairman
At our meeting on March 15th Heather Herrington gave us a personal insight into the filming of ‘The Duchess’ at Kedleston and Shirley Horton offered us ‘One for the Road’ on April 19th. Our annual Plant Swap will be on Sunday 14th May, from 2pm to 4pm at the Old Grammar School. Even if you don’t have any plants to swap, do come along anyway – there will be plants to buy and refreshments available! Instead of a ‘speaker’ meeting in May we have arranged our annual ‘Walk and Talk’, this year visiting Lichfield. Following our June speaker, Bob Baker, who is looking at ‘Extracts from a School Log Book’ on June 21st, we have a break until September when Cathy McAteer’s subject is ‘From Russia with Love’.
Our monthly meetings are held at Rolleston Cricket Club, 7.30pm for an 8pm start.
Does Localism work in Rolleston
On the 20th October 2011 The Parish Council called the first meeting of the Rolleston on Dove Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, who were to be tasked with developing a plan to outline a vision for the future of Rolleston on Dove which would be accepted by the majority of the Community, The need for this plan was outlined in the new Localism Bill recently passed by Parliament which was to give local communities a say in the planning of their towns and villages.
The Civic Trust did express concern in an article in the Rollestonian at that time as to what the order of precedence of the three different plans to be developed under this act would be, the three plans being the National Plan, The Local Plan, i.e. East Staffs Borough Council’s plan, or our Neighbourhood Plan. Did this really mean we would have a say in the future development of our village and would Localism work for Rolleston?
Well now we know.
Rolleston’s Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to East Staffs Borough Council with a request that it be presented for independent examination in May 2013. In October 2013 The Independent Examiner advised “I am pleased to recommend to East Staffordshire Borough Council that the Rolleston on Dove Neighbourhood Development Plan should, subject to the modifications I have put forward, proceed to referendum”. East Staffs did not follow this advice and effectively blocked the progress of our Neighbourhood Plan.
The history from then on is well known as is the reason for the failure to hold a referendum, our Neighbourhood Plan did not include a certain development on a certain College Playing Field Site. Rolleston did not want it.
In October 2015, some two years later, East Staffs finally produced their Local Plan which did include a certain College Playing Field site. The Secretary of State, in November 2016, following the long saga of the planning appeal re this development, decided that The Local Plan, which designated Rolleston a Strategic Village, and labelled site as a Strategic Development, overrode our Neighbourhood Plan and the wishes of the majority of the residents of Rolleston. Permission was granted for the development which the majority of Rolleston residents did not want.
In an article in the local press a spokesperson from Burton College said they were pleased to have received a favourable final decision and suggested it was time for the people of Rolleston to accept the situation and that all parties could now move forward.
We can only conclude that Rolleston is a localism free zone.
But let’s ask a few questions.
The decision by ESBC to classify Rolleston as a Strategic village on a par with Barton and Tutbury, and to classify the College Playing Field Development as a Strategic Development, implies there is a strategy at work for Rolleston, and that that strategy is one of ESBC’s making. What could their strategy be? The strategy was developed some years ago, certainly before Localism was the new Government buzz word.
Was their plan to actually make Rolleston a strategic village, something Rolleston clearly is not, as The Parish Council pointed out to ESBC at the time. Are they going to provide us with our own Village Hall, perhaps matching those proudly boasted of by the residents of Barton and Tutbury? Perhaps also a medical practice, public facilities and a bank, all the facilities required to persuade people from surrounding areas to come to Rolleston to fulfil their needs, as they do in Barton and Tutbury.
Or was their plan all along to make sure The College Playing Field Development went ahead and that Burton College should benefit fully from the sale of this past village asset gifted to them? Further, what were the proceeds to be used for?
How could this be, surely such a strategy benefits Burton College alone, not ESBC or the residents of Rolleston? The Residents of Rolleston on Dove would like to know.
The Civic Trust would like to invite a representative from East Staffs Planning Department to attend one of our public meetings to explain this strategy. We will let you know if this invitation is accepted.
Peter Barnett, Chairman
The survey carried out to assess the number of significant oak trees, and in certain places additional species, is about 80% complete and has identified the position of 125 significant oak trees and 85 other species of tree. Most of these trees are in hedgerows or on Council land.
As reported in the Summer 2016 Rollestonian the aim of Project is to increase the total population of trees within the Rolleston on Dove Parish Boundary and support was requested from people to identify what trees were in their gardens. Response to the article has been minimal and as Spring is fast approaching before we go much farther we need buy in from the Parish Council to plant trees on their land. We did approach them in October to see if they were in favour of the Project and in agreement to planting trees on their land. The response was guarded but their reply included, "It was agreed that the PC are in principle in favour of the initiative, and are not sure the number proposed is enough." In the letter to the PC we had proposed planting 17 trees in 2017; 18 in 2018 etc., hence in 10 years we would nearly double the population. The Woodland Trust will support tree planting projects by supplying trees free, but written consent from the landowner is required.
Please support this project so that we provide the future generations with a landscape including lovely trees.
After starting the year with our January speaker Richard Stone, examining whether or not Richard III had his nephews murdered in the Tower, we then had Dot Morson giving us an ‘A to Z of Calke’ in February. On March 15th Heather Herrington will be talking about the filming of ‘The Duchess’ at Kedleston and Shirley Horton will be offering us ‘One for the Road’ on April 19th. Our monthly meetings are held at Rolleston Cricket Club, 7.30pm for an 8pm start.
Return to Civic Trust Home Page
Last updated: 1 June 2017